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Look after your gear and it will look after you

Whether you’re gearing up for the three-peaks challenge, striding out along a coastal path or enjoying a local ramble, the blue skies, patchy sunshine and gentle breezes of late spring make for perfect hiking and walking conditions. However, making sure your gear works hard for you is key to a successful excursion.
Below, we’ve singled out footwear and backpacks for special attention – arguably your most essential pieces of kit for staying comfortable outdoors…

Your footwear
Firstly, make sure you are wearing the right socks for the activity. Is it a long hike? Then look for a pair of close fitting, padded socks. Are you planning an energetic walk in warm weather? Breathable, wicking socks will do the trick. Will the conditions be cold and snowy? Look for insulated socks made of materials such as wool.

Choosing the right footwear is also essential for your comfort and enjoyment on the hills and mountains. Different materials offer different benefits, and a well-fitted boot or shoe will ensure your feet are supported, comfortable and safe. However, even the best brands can agitate your toes and heels, rubbing them and causing blisters – particularly if your feet overheat and get damp.

You can reduce the chances of discomfort by ensuring your footwear will perform at its very best. If it is dirty there is a risk of reduced breathability, which can cause your feet to feel damp and increase the risk of rubbing. Cleaning your footwear regularly with a specialist cleaner, such as Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel, which is designed to revitalise the water repellency and breathability of all waterproof footwear, will help to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Specialist cleaners also care for the integral components of your shoes, such as glues and seams, without risk of damage.

After cleaning your footwear, you should concentrate on proofing it, as boots and shoes that let water seep in will contribute to an uncomfortable hike. For leather footwear we recommend our Waterproofing Wax for Leather, which adds instant waterproofing to all smooth leather footwear. For combination (fabric and leather) footwear, Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof is the go-to product. Don’t underestimate the importance of aftercare to protect your shoes – and your feet! Plus, the added bonus of Nikwax footwear aftercare is that it will increase the useable lifetime of your boots and shoes, so you can enjoy them for longer.

Your backpack
A decent backpack enables you to carry your hiking belongings safely, but how do you choose the right one for you? Whilst size and features are key, fit is the most critical factor. Go Outdoors recommends you load, adjust and wear your pack around the house before leaving for a trip – a correctly fitted backpack should carry 70-80% of the weight on your hips with the rest on the shoulders. The weight should be held close to your back and remain there without excessive movement when you move up and down, or side to side.

As for size, although much of this depends on the terrain of your route, and the weather, a pack sized between 10L and 25L will hold your water bottle, picnic, jacket and sunscreen, which are usually sufficient provisions for a daytrip. For all the campers out there, a 20L – 30L pack is generally suitable for a multiday hike that entails camping and cooking for yourself, whilst serious adventurers should consider a 35L pack. The longer the hike the higher the chance of extra gear, as well as unpredictable weather, tiredness, and clothing changes.

Most backpacks are waterproof, lightweight and flexible, providing maximum protection for the products inside them whilst keeping you comfortable. However, did you know that a dirty backpack can affect its performance, as well as that of your jacket, fleece or base layer? Keeping your pack clean and renewing its durable water repellency periodically will stop it, and your clothing, from wetting out in rainy weather.

Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarWash® is the only cleaner designed to revitalise the water repellency of weatherproof textiles. Recommended for all synthetic and canvas tents and gear, it will clean your backpack effectively, increase its tear strength and protect against UV deterioration. Follow with Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof® for added water repellency and extra UV protection. Using the right aftercare for your backpack will keep it working hard for you, whatever the weather, and extend its useable life.

Look after your gear and it will look after you! Happy hiking and remember to stick to the Countryside Code.

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Nikwax and Nick Brown Invest in the Future

45 years after founding Nikwax, Nick Brown is passing control and ownership to his employees

Building on 45 years of Nikwax history
February 1st, 2022, became a historic day for the Nikwax Brand. After 45 years of being owner and founder, Nick Brown has passed control to the employees, on three continents, by selling his business to our newly formed Employee Ownership Trust.

Back in 1977, Nick was living in London and had just finished university; he was both unemployed and in love with the outdoors – specifically long-distance walking and backpacking. Nick also had a flair for chemistry and he utilised this talent to create his first product – Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather – which he supplied to the 1980 Royal Geographical Society Karakoram Expedition, and which went on to sell in more than 50 countries.

Over the years, Nikwax has grown to be an international company, with branches in Mainland Europe, North America and South America. We are the only established waterproofing aftercare brand never to have used PFCs in our formulations (PFCs are associated with cancer and immune system damage, and are now known as the “forever chemicals” because they bio-accumulate). Our innovation is what led to the achievement of winning a prestigious 4 Queen’s Awards, the last being The Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Sustainable Development in 2014 – the first outdoor brand to do so.

Nick explained how he feels about the transition,
“By passing on the business to the employees, I feel that I am not only looking after them, but also looking after the interests of our loyal customers. Outdoor people have come to have high expectations of Nikwax, at many levels, and I would not want them to be disappointed. So many companies end up being aggressively taken over and broken up, and lose their soul. This is our best shot at avoiding that and continuing the guiding principles.”

The future of Nikwax is in shared ownership – an Employee Ownership Trust
Nick is now 67, and whilst he hasn’t hung up his boots, he has been preoccupied for more than decade with how to achieve a smooth succession. The Nikwax legacy is one of trying to do business in a responsible way and taking our planet and peoples’ future into account. 4 years ago, the idea of an Employee Ownership Trust was suggested by Nick’s HSBC Bank Manager, Simon Austin, and that started a long and complex project that comes to fruition today, having been delayed by Covid-19.

The founding concept of an EOT is that it exists for the benefit of the employees and all, in effect, are partners whilst employed. Since their introduction, EOTs have become an increasingly popular route for owner/founders to achieve succession, whilst protecting the community of employees they have created.

And, finally, one percent for the planet and for people
Part of the transition is a watertight undertaking that one percent of turnover will be forevermore dedicated to environmental and social projects.

Maïté Angleys, Director of Sustainability for Nikwax, said, “1% for people and planet is about giving back. Nikwax has been here for 45 years and it will still be here in another 45 years’ time, which is why we want to do our best to protect the great outdoors for generations to come. To ensure continuity, Nick and his family will be involved in choosing the projects and organisations we support, giving us the chance to preserve our founding values into the future.”

Watch this space. With so much already achieved, and the buzzing enthusiasm of the work force, where will we, at Nikwax, go next?

 

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New Product Bundles!

The downtime that many people are experiencing right now offers the perfect opportunity to clean and re-proof your outdoor gear. We have three new kits now available on Amazon that will ensure you are also highly protected from the weather. These kits will ensure you will stay dry and feel comfortable, whether for use in your outdoor space now, or in readiness for future adventures later this year.

First up we have the Nikwax Basics Kit – view HERE  

Wet weather gear is still very important at this time of year and it is the perfect time to spring clean your wet weather clothing and reproof it ready for the next downpour!

Our basics kit contains your key garment aftercare items!

  • Tech Wash® – to fully clean your wet weather gear and keep it breathable, whilst reviving water repellency.
  • TX.Direct® – to reproof your clothing when cleaning no longer prevents water absorption.
  • Wash Ball – making it super easy to clean and proof your garments in your washing machine.
  • 10L Dry Bag, worth £9.99 – your valuables are kept super safe and dry, or you can pop dirty gear into it.

 

Next up is the Nikwax Footwear Care Kit – view HERE 

Your feet are just as important as the rest of you and the last thing you want is to feel dry and snug in your wet weather clothing, but suddenly find your feet are cold and damp! This kit will ensure your breathable outdoor footwear is fully protected, ready for those future activities you can be planning. Plus, it is great for sports shoes and trainers too!

  • Footwear Cleaning Gel – to remove all dirt and contaminants that mask the water repellency.
  • Fabric & Leather Proof – the high performance spray-on waterproofer for combination footwear.
  • Waterproofing Wax for Leather – cream for smooth leather footwear, providing instant durable water repellency.
  • 10L Dry Bag.

 

Lastly, we have the Nikwax Essentials Kit – view HERE 

The ultimate kit to care for and protect both your clothing and footwear!
This kit contains:

  • Tech Wash – technical cleaner.
  • TX.Direct – wash-in waterproofer.
  • Footwear Cleaning Gel – sponge-on cleaner.
  • Fabric & Leather Proof – spray-on waterproofer.
  • Footwear Brush.
  • 10L Dry Bag. 

 

 There will be additional kits added to Amazon in due course, so keep your eyes peeled for more…

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The first ever Nikwax product – 40 years on…

Just over 40 years ago when Nick Brown, an outdoor enthusiast with a passion for walking, found his feet getting damp in his trusty walking boots in bad weather, Nikwax was created. Dissatisfaction with the waterproofing products available at the time, led to Nick looking to create his own means of keeping his leather walking boots in prime condition and his feet protected from the rain.

Nick’s Wax was produced with the use of a tea urn, primus stove, a jug and materials from a local hardware store, then sold by Nick to the outdoor trade in the UK and Europe through the use of a Morris van and an Interrailing card.

Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather was the first Nikwax waterproofing product to be made and today is one of the bestselling footwear aftercare products worldwide!

Why is Waterproofing Wax for Leather such a key product?
If active outdoors, you need to know your leather walking boots will remain waterproof, comfortable and in prime condition for a long time. You can keep your leather boots in top shape by using Nikwax aftercare and one of the most important facts about Waterproofing Wax for Leather is that it is completely environmentally friendly! It is water-based and contains no nasty PFCs or harmful chemicals, thereby ensuring no dangerous impact on the environment we know and love.

Surely all smooth leather footwear is waterproof?
Leather is naturally resistant to some water, but most outdoor shoes still have an additional durable water repellent (DWR) coating on them, to give better performance. However, when out on the hills or trails, footwear will automatically pick up dirt and contaminants – this will mask and eventually wear away the DWR, meaning that feet start to get damp.

Ok, but what does Waterproofing Wax for Leather really do for my leather footwear?

  • It maintains the breathability of the leather, which is vital if you do not want damp, sweaty feet when enjoying the outdoors.
  • Its formula replenishes the tanning agents found in leather, this means you protect the stability of the footwear, supporting feet in key areas, such as ankles if wearing boots. Waterproofing Wax for Leather will not over-soften the leather.
  • It provides instant waterproof protection!
  • Waterproofing Wax for Leather is also recommended for footwear with waterproof membranes, such as GoreTex, Sympatex and all other waterproof breathable membranes.

How easy is it to use?  
Very! Shake well and simply apply, by hand, to wet or dry leather using the applicator or your fingers.

Remove any excess with a cloth and buff up to shine. Note – it could darken leather, so always test on a hidden area of the footwear first.

Leave the footwear to dry naturally – if placed near a radiator it could cause the leather to dry too fast, which might crack the leather.

Top Tip!
Always clean your footwear first with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel. Apart from removing all dirt and contaminants, Footwear Cleaning Gel will revive the DWR. When cleaning alone will no longer revive water repellency, you then re-proof with Waterproofing Wax for Leather.

The result?
Footwear that performs when you need it, ensuring your feet remain dry, comfortable and supported in all activities and weather conditions!

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How to Care for your Boots

One of the best ways of ensuring your hiking boots are as sustainable as possible, is to look after them so well you never have to replace them. Owning just one pair of boots for many years is a sure-fire way to reduce impact on the environment you’re trying to enjoy.

And the best way to do that is to use environmentally friendly Nikwax products. By applying the right treatment at the right time, you can keep your boots waterproof, protective and in tip-top condition.

Our environmental credentials are award winning
Nikwax is the only major aftercare company to have never used aerosols or fluorocarbons. We have never tested our products on animals, they are solvent and VOC-free, and all our products are water-based. We’ve received numerous awards, including becoming one of only 13 UK companies in 2014 to have received the Queen’s Award for Sustainable Development.

Subsequently Nikwax has become the global leader in environmentally safe aftercare and waterproofing solutions that extend the life and performance of technical footwear.

So how do you look after your boots?
Looking after your footwear means following these three simple rules:

Clean…Waterproof…Condition

Clean
Take your boots out on any walk and they’ll get dirty. It’s all part of the fun. But the problem is as soon as the leather or fabric gets dirty, they can start to soak up water. That’s because the dirt masks the effect of any waterproof coating your boots already have. On top of this, when your feet get hot and sweaty, the water vapour inside your boots can’t escape because your shoes aren’t breathable anymore.

Damp feet after a walk is a sure-fire cue you need to clean your boots. But, if you have the time, try to clean them on a regular basis and especially after particularly muddy walks.

However, watch out! Other conventional footwear cleaners and household detergents leave behind a water-attractive residue which masks the water repellency, causing footwear materials to absorb water and ‘wet out’ in damp or wet conditions. Avoid this by using Nikwax’s Footwear Cleaning Gel to thoroughly clean your waterproof footwear safely, and revitalise its water repellency and breathability.

Waterproof
After a while any original water repellent treatment will eventually fade. If you notice that the water repellency of your boots isn’t revitalised simply by cleaning, then it’s time to re-proof your boots.

Nikwax manufactures ‘Fabric & Leather Proof’ and ‘Nubuck & Suede Proof’ – your pick depending upon the material your boots are made from. Alternatively, you can choose to use Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather, for smooth leather surfaces.

Nikwax Proof and Wax is easy and quick to apply and its water repellency develops on air drying. It leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on individual fibres of fabric and leather; thereby allowing moisture vapour to pass through, maintaining breathability and keeping your feet dry.

Condition
When your boots are really past it, then it’s time to bring out the Nikwax Conditioner for Leather. This restores suppleness and softness to dried-out leather whilst waterproofing at the same time.

The comfort of your footwear isn’t just down to dry feet. Your hiking boots need to provide support whilst staying soft and flexible. The more your boots absorb water, the more the shoes’ tanning agents and lubricants are lost, causing the leather to become dry, stiff and prone to splitting. Using Conditioner for Leather prolongs the life of leather footwear, like hiking boots, whilst adding water repellency and maintaining breathability.

And that’s it!
Follow these three simple rules and your hiking and walking boots should bring you years of dry comfort.

 

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Stage 2 of #DoMoreWithNikwax

As summer turns to autumn and holidays draw to a close, here is a little something to inspire you to get up, get out and keep being active!

This summer Nikwax teamed up with three athletes – Markus Stitz, Fredrika Ek and Jenny Tough – to undertake the #DoMoreWithNikwax challenge, which saw them ride a combined total of 7,000km, hike 7,000m and camp in 10 countries across Europe in 21 days. You can view the Strava routes here.

At Nikwax we are passionate about everything outdoors and all that nature can provide – we want everyone to see how much is out there and just how great it is to be active, no matter where and no matter the weather! We also wanted to use this opportunity to show our support for conservation champions EOCA (European Outdoor Conservation Association). Since their beginnings in 2006 they have funded over 100 conservation projects across the globe, putting a phenomenal €2.4 million into protecting natural habitats, wildlife protection, conservation and more. Their tireless work has just seen them smash their target of planting over 2 million trees – a means to benefit local communities, wildlife and show everyone that we need to protect this natural world we all want to enjoy and want future generations to experience.

Our summer challenge shows you just want can be done outdoors, but whatever activity you undertake, bear in mind how precious our environment is.

Stage 2 of #DoMoreWithNikwax – Fredrika Ek takes the baton!

Markus Stitz (record holder for riding a single speed bike around the world) completed the first leg of #DoMoreWithNikwax in the UK, totalling 1,675km of cycling and hiking the highest peak in the UK, Ben Nevis. It was then time to hand over to our next athlete, Fredrika Ek. You can read about stage 1 with Markus here.

Fredrika was awarded the European Adventurer of the Year after spending 2 and a half years bike packing around the world. This saw her travel through 45 countries and clock up 51,000 km on her bike! When we told Fredrika about our plans to take 3 athletes on bike between the 3 highest peaks in the UK, Germany and Scandinavia, she was very keen to be part of it!

After the crew took a night ferry from Hull, UK to Rotterdam, Netherlands, we met Fredrika and the second leg of #DoMoreWithNikwax began.

Day 7 – Fredrika’s challenge started by cycling from Groningen, Netherlands. Groningen is one of the most northerly areas in the Netherlands and provides ample opportunities to cycle past large open spaces with panoramic views! The Dutch are known for their love of bikes, so what better way to enjoy the scenery, and such beautiful landscape will just want to make you keep on cycling!

This first day saw Fredrika cycle 177km, spending almost 8 hours on the road whilst making her way upwards at an elevation of 253m! She finished day one in Bremen, Germany – which is one of many German cities to have environmental zones, whereby only cars which are strictly environmentally friendly are allowed into the main city. Such a great idea to reduce air pollution and perhaps encourage people to find other means to travel – such as by bike! Strava route here.

Day 8 – The destination for the day was Genner, Denmark. The journey started smoothly and took Fredrika across North Germany, but things reached an abrupt halt when local construction work had completely shut down a key route! Are hurriedly re-planning, the journey continued with a re-route of 50km over a river. Fredrika was back on track and by the end of the day had reached a total of cycling 309km whilst being on the road for 13 hours! Pretty impressive stuff for the first two days of her leg of the challenge. Strava route here.

Day 9 – Fredrika’s third day started in Kolding, Denmark, where she then cycled to the very northern tip of Jutland – Hirtshals. Undertaking such a journey inevitably means that some bike maintenance is required en-route, as you would want to ensure your entire journey is smooth and trouble free. The same can be said for your active clothing. You may well wear layers whilst cycling, in order to maintain your body temperature without either getting too cold or too sweaty. You also may want light protection in case of rain!

Outer waterproof layers definitely need to work their magic and keep you dry in case the weather breaks. Nikwax TX.Direct is your go-to product here! If you have cleaned your waterproofs with Nikwax Tech Wash, but find water is still being absorbed, then you need to re-proof. TX.Direct is safe, quick and easy to use, adding water repellency to all of the garment to ensure the fabric remains breathable (letting the sweat out) whilst repelling water off the outer fabric (keeping you dry)!

After a distance of 277km and cycling for almost 12 hours, Fredrika boarded a ferry to head to Norway to continue her epic journey. Strava route here.

Day 10 began in Kristiansand, which is the fifth largest city in Norway. Outdoor activities form a standard part of daily life for people in Norway, with hiking, jogging and running being favourites, and who can blame them when you have some of the most amazing scenery right on your doorstep to enjoy. Whatever time of the year and whatever the weather, Norway’s natural world can be awe-inspiring. But if you cannot make it to somewhere like this, then just be encouraged by Fredrika and search out your own local magical landscape on your doorstep to cycle or walk through. 

Fredrika began heading north towards more wild landscape and with a greater elevation to battle with. It was at this point she passed the 1,000km mark of cycling – an amazing feat on the fourth day of her challenge! After a day cycling 231km for over 9 hours and undertaking an elevation of 1,637m, it was time to stop and take a relaxing night’s break. Nesbyen was the final stop – a village in a more mountainous area of Norway, where a spot of wild camping was enjoyed by Hallingdalselva, with a relaxing swim in the lake! Strava route here.

Day 11 was always going to be a challenge for this part of #DoMoreWithNikwax – the day commenced at 5am as Fredrika set off for the highest peak in Scandinavia – Galdhoppigen. She rode through the Jotunheimen National Park – home of over 250 mountains. We were proud to see Fredrika excel in her challenge today, reaching 217km of riding over 9 hours and with 2,333m of elevation! Are you getting the urge yet to get outdoors and see what adventure you could be having? Strava route here.

Day 12 turned attention away from the bike and on to the hiking! Galdhoppigen is the highest peak standing at 2,469m above sea level and during summer months you can find a few hundred people reaching the summit daily. To hike up any mountain though you need comfortable, and ideally waterproof, footwear that can also protect and support you on the terrain you may encounter. Good care is essential to keep such footwear in good condition. Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather is for smooth leather footwear, whilst Fabric & Leather Proof is for combination footwear – both products add water repellency, whilst keeping your shoes breathable (so no sweaty feet!) and helping to increase the usable lifespan of your walking shoes! Fredrika’s Strava route here.

Upon reaching the peak of Galdhoppigen, we were pleased to get Fredrika to take part in the Nikwax Floating Sleeping Bag challenge – profiling the superior water repellency of Nikwax Hydrophobic Down (NHD). NHD is a water resistant down fill and provides 50x more water repellency than conventional down, keeping you warm in very cold conditions and extending the range of conditions you can use down items in. NHD is available within a range of down jackets and sleeping bags from different brands, including RAB, Therm-A-Rest and Mountain Hardwear, amongst others. Keep a look out for the NHD logo! 

Day 13 and it is time to get back on the bike to head south from Otta to Gansvika in Norway, where there was another great opportunity for some wild camping! Nothing beats being outdoors in your home from home – the trusty tent – lapping up all the natural environment has to offer. A great way to relax and rejuvenate, especially after a very long day cycling!

Fredrika totalled 302km of riding, spending over 13 hours on the go, so a relaxing last night was well earnt! Strava route here.

Day 14 is the last day for Fredrika and she faced a distance of 350km to get from Norway to the Swedish border. No matter the activity, keeping refreshed is vital, so if you can find an opportune moment to stop and take a much needed water break then do so!

And so, the week drew to a close. Fredrika totalled a fantastic 1,800km of cycling, which included climbing elevations amounting to 10,000m! This was as well as hiking the tallest peak in Scandinavia and floating around in our NHD filled sleeping bag. What a great achievement for anybody, but what inspiration seeing just what you can do when you put your mind to it. Strava route here.

It does not matter what the weather holds, or where you are, just get outdoors, be active and appreciate all that natural world has to offer, because it is so very rewarding. And you can do this with Nikwax! We have all the aftercare your outdoor clothing and gear needs to enable you to stay safe, warm and dry – and ultimately, having fun and adventures outside. So what are you waiting for? #DoMoreWithNikwax

If you wish to do your bit towards conservation then you can help with EOCA. Visit their website HERE and look for the Donate button!

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Get your gear ready for the half-term winter break

The half-term holidays are not far away and lots of us will take the opportunity to get away on a short winter break. Whether you choose to travel abroad to spend time on the wintry slopes, or even just have a staycation here in the UK, we guarantee you will be taking key pieces of winter kit with you – you just never know what the weather will have in store!

Winter’s break in the Nordic countries or a spot of skiing in the Alps?
Half-term has proven to be a popular time for families to visit the lands of the northern lights, with prices often being slightly cheaper than around Christmas. Perhaps some huskie sledging in Finland? Or, you just prefer to head to the slopes for some skiing in the Alps?

Either way you all need to be kitted out appropriately to keep warm and dry in such cold conditions.

Down jackets can benefit you in really cold, and damp, conditions
If you already have an insulated down jacket, then check it now to see if it needs preparation for your trip, or have you used it already over the start of winter? If items have been used a number of times then they could use a clean, in order to ensure optimum performance whilst on your break.

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Nikwax Down Wash Direct
People may feel nervous about cleaning their down jackets, for fear of the down fill clumping and not returning to its original condition. Fear not! Even if your jacket is not hydrophobic, Down Wash Direct will efficiently clean it without harming the item in any way. Dirt and body oils are removed from the outer fabric and the down fill, whilst durable water repellency is restored. Your down gear will have a prolonged life and its performance will be optimised in cold and wet conditions.

  • Down Wash Direct can be used on your jacket easily in the washing machine.
  • Dry the item thoroughly afterwards. We recommend you spin dry the item a number of times, in order to get as much water out as possible.
  • If you have a tumble dryer, and if the item’s care label allows, then this is the perfect way to ensure the down is completely dry after cleaning.
  • Remember to tease apart any down clumps during the drying of the item – it will help restore the loft so that your jacket is back to normal ready for use.
  • Air the item in a warm environment for a day or so after drying.

After your trip, and when it comes to putting the down jacket away until next season, be sure to store it appropriately. Folding your garment away in a bag will compress the down. Ideally you need it to have plenty of room in order for the loft to be maintained and also keep within a warm environment.

Tempted by a staycation this February?
Wherever you may choose to stay in the UK for this winter break, there is a very strong chance of rain. However, there are still plenty of activities to keep you busy and allow you to continue enjoying the outdoors.  

Wet weather gear should be a must-have for this February half-term. Waterproof items are covered in what is known as a Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating – this is what causes rain to ‘bead up’ and roll off the garment, instead of being absorbed into the fabric, which causes it to ‘wet out’. Some people think they cannot wash their waterproof items for fear that this coating will be damaged, when actually it will be reduced if the items are not kept clean.

Nikwax Tech Wash & TX.Direct
The perfect aftercare companions to ensure all of your family’s rainy day clothing is kept in top condition and therefore keep you safe, warm and dry if you experience a wet half-term break.

  • Dirt will eventually prevent the DWR from working, which is when you will get cold and damp in your waterproof clothing.
  • Normal household detergents actually leave water-attracting residues on the fabric, so cleaning with these will not help your waterproof clothing to stay waterproof.
  • Tech Wash is the no.1 high performance cleaner, designed especially for wet weather gear. Cleaning away all dirt, it will revive the DWR on the outer fabric, whilst making sure that garment remains breathable.
  • Eventually, after lots of use, the DWR will need replenishing on waterproof items.
  • TX.Direct is the easy to use wash-in, or spray-on, waterproofer. It leaves a flexible water repellent treatment on the item, while making sure moisture can escape through the fabric from the inside.
  • The result? Your clothing will work again at its full potential.

When the season turns and you plan to put your wet weather clothing away, try to keep it hung up loosely. Don’t be tempted to put it into a stuff sack, because this could lead to the items becoming creased, which in turn could lead to the DWR starting to wear off.

Don’t forget your feet!
Wherever you spend your half-term break, footwear cannot be forgotten. If your feet get wet and cold, then inevitably the rest of you will feel this too. Keep the following Nikwax staple items in your cupboard so your shoes can be cared for too.

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Footwear Cleaning Gel & Waterproofers
Suitable for all outdoor footwear, Footwear Cleaning Gel is a sponge-on aftercare product easily applied by hand to clean away all of the dirt, which may be causing your shoes to absorb water.

  • Rinse shoes to dampen the footwear, then apply Footwear Cleaning Gel generously over the area to be cleaned.
  • You can use a stiff brush to help remove tougher dirt or mud.
  • Rinse well with clean water.
  • Leave the shoes to dry naturally, whereupon the DWR will be revitalised and your shoes will remain comfortable, breathable and supportive.
  • If waterproofing is then required, ensure you use the appropriate product for your type of footwear – these can be used whilst the shoes are wet.
  • Waterproofing Wax for Leather: designed for all smooth leather footwear – perfect for leather hiking boots for example. It keeps leather shoes waterproof, prevents them from stiffening and maintains breathability so feet do not get sweaty inside.
  • Fabric & Leather Proof: for combination outdoor footwear. You can either sponge or spray on to the footwear to provide instant DWR, which will develop when the shoe is left to dry naturally.
  • Nubuck & Suede Proof: provides the same high performance as our other footwear aftercare, but is optimised for nubuck and suede shoes.

Keeping all of your kit cleaned and proofed with Nikwax aftercare will help ensure your clothing will last for much longer and allow you to stay dry and warm when you are enjoying all of your outdoor adventures.

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Prepare for The Wild Boar challenge, 2017!

Each year in Caerphilly, Wales, the Borough Council’s Countryside and Landscape Service, along with Caerphilly Adventure Group, Caerphilly Ramblers, Islwyn Ramblers and other partners, organise the Caerphilly Challenge. This annual event consists of a series of routes for people to walk, or even run; varying from a mild 1-5 mile walk, through to the longer and much more challenging 22-mile route involving steep and difficult terrain.

The event attracts seasoned and non-seasoned walkers and runners of all ages – canines too! People register for the event, choosing the `challenge` that will suit their ability best and use the experience as a means to fundraise for charity, or just to test themselves.

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This year the challenge is The Wild Boar and is taking place on Saturday 6th May. Nikwax will be attending the event, as we love nothing more than an excuse to get out and enjoy the countryside. At our stand will be our Footwear Cleaning Station and if the routes are wet and muddy then you will be needing our services when you finish!

To undertake a challenge like this, your footwear is one of your biggest priorities, as you don’t want to end up with blisters or fungal infections as a result of damp feet from under-performing outdoor footwear. We recommend you prepare your walking shoes in advance of the event, to ensure you are comfortable when undertaking the challenge route of your choice.

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Firstly, clean your footwear with Nikwax Footwear Cleaning Gel. This will remove any dirt and contaminants, which may be masking the durable water repellency (DWR) and could cause your feet to get sweaty and damp inside.

If your footwear is relatively new, then Footwear Cleaning Gel will revitalise the existing DWR to ensure water is not absorbed and your footwear remains breathable. However, if your footwear has been thoroughly worn you will need to add DWR after you have cleaned with Footwear Cleaning Gel.

Nikwax Fabric & Leather Proof can be applied either as a spray or as sponge-on to wet Fabric and Leather combination footwear. It adds a flexible water repellent treatment to the footwear, which develops upon air-drying and maintains the breathability of your footwear, whilst keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

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If you have full grain leather walking boots then use Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather as the aftercare product, after cleaning with Footwear Cleaning Gel. The support from leather footwear is maintained by tanning agents in the leather, if the leather absorbs water it softens and you lose the tanning agents. As a result you find your leather boots feel stiffer once dry and can lead to splitting, as well as a loss of the breathability. Waterproofing Wax for Leather provides DWR, whilst replenishing tanning agents.

Clean and protect with Nikwax aftercare now and you can join in with the fun in Caerphilly knowing that your footwear will maintain its performance and allow you to just enjoy the outdoors.

Remember to come and visit us at our Footwear Cleaning Station after the walk so we can give your footwear a much-loved Nikwax clean and reproof, ready for your next outdoor challenge!

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For further information and registering your place at The Wild Boar Challenge in Caerphilly, please visit: https://your.caerphilly.gov.uk/caerphillychallengeseries/

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Cut the cost of “Back to School”

Back To School – these are the words that strike fear into some children. And it can be scary for parents too! New school gear costs money, so it is important that you keep your child’s garments fully protected.

That is where Nikwax comes in! Cut the cost of replacing those school essentials such as jackets, fleeces and shoes by stocking up on tried and trusted products such as Tech Wash, TX.Direct, Polar Proof and Waterproofing Wax for Leather.

As you may know, a new pair of school shoes can cost as much as £50. And when a child finds a puddle, they are likely to jump in it. When leather gets wet its breathability is reduced leading to soggy socks and damp feet.  Nikwax Waterproofing Wax for Leather gives immediate protection by renewing the leather’s Durable Water Repellency (DWR). Not only that but Waterproofing Wax for Leather Black restores colour and helps to reduce scuff and abrasion marks for when the kids forget they shouldn’t be playing football in their new shoes!

Waterproof coats and jackets will need to be replaced if they are not looked after correctly. They can begin to soak up rain simply because they are dirty, and using a regular household detergent will leave water attracting residue on the item, inhibiting its water repellency. First, wash your garment with Nikwax Tech Wash, then wash with TX.Direct to maintain breathability and replenish the Durable Water Repellency, help your child stay warm and dry in the rain!

On cold winter days, your child will appreciate their fleece jackets, gloves and hats. Nikwax Polar Proof has been specifically designed and optimised for fleece garments; it leaves a flexible treatment on individual fibres, adding water repellency whilst allowing moisture vapour to pass through it. This maintains breathability and optimises the garments performance in wet weather. Avoid a cold, wet, unhappy child by using Nikwax Polar Proof.

Choose Nikwax to protect and lengthen the lifespan of your child’s school gear this September!